Dec 23, 2010

Yeah, pretty much out of nowehre, with extra asking for money on the side

God, how I hate the meme about "having an abortion is a difficult decision that no woman takes lightly". I know it's supposed to be a defense against the vile misogynist assumption that women are thoughtless, irresponsible children who callously have unprotected sex and then resort to abortion as a means of rectifying their own cock-ups (pun totally fricking intended, so suck it up). But still. Seriously? An outpatient procedure that expunges a tiny clump of cells from your body - something that is less invasive and painful than having a mole removed - is a difficult decision?

And don't nobody come along wringing their hands in mock concern about late term abortions and the little handses and the little feetses. Bullshit. The overwhelming majority of abortions are sought within the first 8 weeks. Mine was on literally the first day that abortion was medically allowable (6 weeks). You know why? Because women - have a look above - are not thoughtless, irresponsible sub-beings, and they want to deal with unwanted pregnancy as quickly as possible once they realise something unplanned has happened.

Anyway, abortion schmabortion. That's a difficult decision? What about becoming a fucking parent? How's that for a difficult fucking decision for ya? Cause hey, two hours in a clinic with your legs up in stirrups is so much bigger a deal than a lifetime of care, responsibility, heartache, expense, love, illness and conflict, right?

Or even forget about that. Forget that the hateful slutty "women" who have abortions and the saintly pure "mothers" who raise children are the same fucking people (literally - most women who have abortions already have at least one child). What about pregnancy? Is the decision to have someone scrape or vacuum your insides for a few minutes really that much "bigger" than the decision to carry something in your abdomen for nine months and then push it out through your pelvis at great risk to yourself, or maybe undergo major abdominal surgery if things go wrong? Seriously, who should we be encouraging to "really think about it" - the person who's popping in to their GP for a quick referral, or the person who has some kind of abdominal mass and just leaves "nature" to take it course?

But what about post-abortion syndrome, Marina? What about all those poor, poor women who were bamboozled, bamboozled I tell you, by evil child murdering feminists into having an abortion, and are now suffering from mental illness because of it? Well, to start with, it's a fucking invention. A mean, cruel, sadistic make believe condition, the only purpose of which is to make women feel like shit about themselves. Because guess what? If you keep telling people that they should be ashamed and traumatised, they're just that much more likely to be - you got it - ashamed and traumatised! Isn't it great the way social conditioning works?

Mountains of propaganda - up to and including terrorist attacks against abortion providers - will not prevent women from seeking terminations to unwanted pregnancies. And anti-woman activists like Nadine fucking Dorries know this perfectly, perfectly well. Their mission in life is not to save teh cute little babbies. It is to make the lives of women as miserable as possible, whether through forced pregnancy or through imposing a myth of guilt and shame on them for the self-care they show through taking control of their fertility. It is to make the lives of women so miserable that they forget about their own dreams, their own aspirations, their own desires, and spend their lives entirely in submitting and conforming to the gleefully torturous demands of those who have nothing better to motivate them in life than hatred for the idea that women are human.

So don't give me all that about abortion being a difficult decision. It's an easy fucking decision, as easy as any other decision about our health and self care. But oh wait, we're not supposed to have the right to health and self care! That's why the Tories are slashing Well Woman clinic budgets[1]. That's why Nadine Dorries is wasting Parliamentary time trying to lower the abortion limit from 24 weeks. That's why her crazy-ass co thinkers are importing US-style tactics into the UK, trying to shame and intimidate women who choose to have an abortion.

And that is why, I guarantee you, there will be more challenges to women's rights to control this body within the life of this parliament. Just you wait and see. And when you do see, remember that this rhetoric about abortion being "a serious and difficult choice" is sand in your eyes, thrown to disguise a mountain of hatred of women and disgust of their bodies.

Anyhoodle. Go give your money to this awesome charity that is trying to make up their funding shortfall (this one the Tories really are cutting) in order to educate people in the UK about abortion, and to help British women to be safe, healthy, and happy. Go on, shoo. I know you've just spent a fortune on X-Box games for your squeeze or kids, so you can afford a fucking tenner here, people.


[1] OK I totally made that one up - but they would, wouldn't they? If you fell for that, that's proof that you, too, subconsciously believe that the Tories hate women.


  1. The fact that other decisions are difficult doesn't make the decision to have an abortion any easier. I'm not sure why you're comparing the decision as to whether to have an abortion with the decision as to whether to become a parent, because every one of the former is also one of the latter. That's precisely one of the reasons why it is such a hard decision! You seem to be confusing the decision to have an abortion with the act of having the abortion. Every woman close to me who has gone through that process has said that making the decision was far harder than the act of having the abortion. If it was an easy decision for you, then great, but it doesn't mean it's not a seriously difficult decision for many (most?) women who do make it.

  2. Most women who choose to have a child never confront the additional decision on whether to abort, but every woman who aborts confronts the decision on whether to not abort. So the two decisions - to have an abortion or to have a baby - are not flip sides of the same situation. Yet we never question the decisions of people with children, or ask them whether deciding to become parents was "difficult". So the flase dychotomy you accuse me of is a straw man.

    I'd also add that your view is somewhat limited by being mostly exposed to the Anglo world, where the discourse about abortion has been very moralising for the last 20 years. So your personal experience here is not particularly valuable as an analytical tool.

  3. I agree with 99% of what you're saying here, but just want to say that for some people abortion isn't less painful than having a mole removed - a friend of mine had one and had to take the week off work with what she described as being like the most painful period of her life. Her foetus was apparently "the size of a grain of rice" - I don't know if it's less painful if it's caught earlier or if she was just incredibly unlucky, but while I agree that antichoice people exaggerate the physical risks and discomforts involved I don't think feminists do anyone any favours by downplaying them either - certainly the after effects caught my friend by surprise

  4. I am, as usual slightly confused. If a generalised exposure to "the Anglo world" is enough to skew someone's take on this subject, how are we supposed to trust that the view of someone with an intensely personal connection to the topic is reasoned and impartial?

  5. Oooh, am I presumed to have such a particularly intense personal connection to the subject as to bias my views beyond credibility? Views which, unlike you rather ungenerous implications, are at least based on fact, supported with links? For what strong and well-argued reason might that be, one wonders? Other, that is, than for the reason that dismissing women's opinions as "emotional" and "unreasonable" is a time honoured way to avoid considering them?

  6. It's not so much a matter of considering you to be beyond credibility as evaluating your comment in the light of your own assertion that an individual's views are "not particularly valuable" in the context of this debate because they have been polluted by the personal experiences of their holder.

    I respect the passion with which you hold your beliefs and am loath to accuse you of hypocrisy. Nevertheless, there is at least some degree of irony in your fighting claimed intellectual and emotional enslavement by bullying or dismissing anyone who dares to have independent views from yourself.

  7. Just one question: isn't Nadine Dorries a woman too?

  8. Martin: I take it you clicked through to the - wait for it - peer reviewed research I linked to, before hinting at my supposed hypocrisy, and considered long and hard whether to engage with it, or take potshots at me personally. Not so loath after all, then.

    Anonymous: Last time I checked, the Pope and Elton John are both men, too. Your point?

  9. As always, I not only followed the links but read the articles, checked supporting data where appropriate and then attempted to relate them back to your post. Unfortunately, none of the links gave me any insight into why your experience or perception of motivation is supposed to be more valuable or definitive than anyone else's.

    The obvious first step was for me to look for supporting evidence of your assertions relating to the nature and causes of women's attitudes towards abortion in the references you provided; obviously if you have right on your side, your dismissal of others' views can be seen to have some justification if little charm. The two links relating to attacks on or picketing of abortion clinics certainly provide an indictment of the techniques of the extreme edge of the pro-life lobby but do little else; the evidence of the US is that criminal attacks on clinics (not strictly propaganda so much as an attempt to control through fear) may cause people to go elsewhere for procedures but do little to sway their opinion or attitudes, whilst picketing (which does at least seem to be intended to influence people in the way you suggest) is showing little sign of engendering wider guilt and can almost certainly count its few 'successes' to intimidation rather than reaching hearts and minds. The blog article on Nadine Dorries (who received death threats in the wake of her attempt to reduce the age limit for abortions, proving that criminal fuckwittery isn't the sole province of the god squad) makes its point well and it is indeed clear that she has a personal agenda. Not exactly breaking news though.

    This leaves us with the big one - do we finally, after 30 years of academic debate have proof that post-abortion syndrome is "a fucking invention"? Um, no. What we do have is a perfectly reasonable rebuttal of a paper that appears to have plucked figures in support of the idea of such a syndrome out of thin air. What we don't have is proof that no such relationship between abortions and mental health as that promoted by Coleman et al exists, since the data set that both studies are referencing, although well distributed, wasn't actually designed to capture all the information that would be needed to provide strong evidence one way or the other. For now, we are left with anecdotal evidence that at least some women feel anxiety relating to having had a termination and still no definitive information on how prevalent this might be or what the actual root causes are. Personally I have no take on whether there is a causal link or not, but when I am told by someone that they do feel anxiety/stress/depression relating to a past abortion I have no more reason to doubt their sincerity than I have to doubt you when you state that you found the decision simple to make and easy to live with. Who knows, a future scientific study may well find that individuals don't look at things in the same way; whether it will be able to determine whether one is 'right' and another 'wrong' in matters of moral perspective is another matter.